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Contemporary Films

Some girls love chick flicks some don’t but that’s just the way it is. Some people may prefer to watch action movies to chick flicks or horror movies. Some of the new and happening films which have yet to hit the scene create

2011 marked the lowest attendance in theaters in 16 years, but studios are hoping 2012’s big movies will revive our interest in actually going to a theater to see a feature film rather than waiting for it to be released on home video. Superheroes, brave teens battling to the death, the rebirth of a few classics, and not one but two films involving Abraham Lincoln are all among the most anticipated releases of 2012.

Here are the 2012 films with the most pre-release buzz (listed in release date order).

‘The Hunger Games’

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, and Josh Hutcherson

The Buzz: Lions gate’s not known for backing major theatrical franchises, but the studio’s hoping it’s got another Twilight or Harry Potter on its hands with The Hunger Games. The first film of the planned four-part series (based on a trilogy of books by Suzanne Collins) introduces audiences to the world of teens fighting to the death as representatives of their districts. The Hunger Games books appeal to the same demographic as that of Stephanie Meyer’s sparkling vampire stories and, like Twilight, there are ‘teams’ formed supporting the two lead male characters/love interests. But that’s where the similarities end, as The Hunger Games is much darker than Twilight ever dreamed of being.

Release Date: March 23, 2012

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, and Scarlett Johansson

The Buzz: Disney takes over as the distributor of the Marvel films with The Avengers, the biggest superhero film of 2012 (‘biggest’ due solely to the amount of costumed comic book characters stuffed into one movie). Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, and Captain America have to save the world, and it’ll be interesting to see if The Avengers will be one of the movies that saves the 2012 box office from sinking to 2011 levels.

Release Date: May 4, 2012

‘Dark Shadows’

Starring: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Michelle Pfeiffer

The Buzz: The campy 1960s vampire soap opera makes its way to the big screen courtesy of frequent collaborators and friends, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. Their last joint project, Alice in Wonderland, was a blockbuster success, but are audiences tired of vampires? If anyone can sell us on the need to watch yet another vampire on the big screen, it’s Johnny Depp.

Release Date: May 11, 2012

‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin

The Plot: If Universal Pictures and Relativity Media were boxers instead of film studios, we’d have told them to take their fight to the ring, with the winner earning the right to release the only Snow White film of 2012. Instead, audiences will be served up two very different takes on the classic fairy tale, with Relativity beating Universal to the punch by releasing its Mirror Mirror in March 2012. However, just because Relativity landed the earlier release date doesn’t mean it’s winning the publicity war. After trailers were released for both films, it was Universal’s darker, more action-oriented film that appeared to win over prospective ticket buyers.

Release Date: June 1, 2012

‘Prometheus’

Starring: Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Noomi Rapace, Patrick Wilson, and Idris Elba

The Buzz: Finally, Ridley Scott returns to the sci-fi genre with a film that, while not an Alien prequel, definitely stems from the same alien DNA. Scott has a lot to prove after taking such a long vacation from the genre, and fans are anxious to see what his very secretive Prometheus project is all about.

Release Date: June 8, 2012

‘Rock of Ages’

Starring: Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, and Russell Brand

The Plot: Are you ready to rock? Tom Cruise channels his inner rock star, Julianne Hough plays the female love interest, and newcomer Diego Boneta takes on a role American Idol‘s Constantine Maroulis handled on stage in this film version of the smash Broadway hit musical. Set to the music of ’80s bands Journey, Night Ranger, Styx, REO Speed wagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, and Whitesnake, Rock of Ages could be this year’s guilty pleasure.

Release Date: June 15, 2012

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’

Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Alan Tudyk

The Buzz: Honest Abe wasn’t just a U.S. President, he was apparently an expert vampire hunter (but you probably figured that out from the film’s title, right?). Based on the bestselling book by Seth Grahame-Smith (who also worked on the screenplay), Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter finds the 16th US President committed to killing vampires after his mother is murdered by one. But fans of the book should be prepared for a few changes to the story. Alan Tudyk said in our exclusive interview that the film “does and it doesn’t” stick to the source material.

Says Tudyk, “It’s a lot more active than the book. [With] the book there’s a lot of description and, because of the way the book is, a lot of it is his journal. So, it’s like a history. The book, for me, got a little slow towards the last quarter as Lincoln gets older in his life and he starts to slow down. The book – for me – is more about ideas and not so much about what’s going on. And in the movie it stays at a pace. The action’s more immediate and Abe Lincoln’s involvement in everything is a little more active than it was in the book.”

Release Date: June 22, 2012

‘The Amazing Spider-Man’

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Rhys Ifans

The Plot: There’s a Webb (director Marc Webb) in charge of this new take on the comic book character, which is just purely a weird coincidence. However, maybe having the last name Webb means he’s heard a lot of spider comments over the years and feels closer to the source material than non-arachnid-named filmmakers might. Anyway…doing a new Spider-Man without Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, and Kirsten Dunst so close to the last film of the franchise is a risky move. Will fans accept the new Spider-Man trio? We shall see.

Release Date: July 3, 2012

 

‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine

The Buzz: Christopher Nolan and Christian Bale are saying goodbye to the franchise with this third film of their Batman trilogy and, if the trailer’s any indication, Nolan and Bale have upped the ante action-wise with The Dark Knight Rises. But fans did have one major complaint about that first trailer: it’s difficult to understand what Bane (played by Tom Hardy) is saying. Will that be tweaked for the theatrical release? We hope so.

Release Date: July 20, 2012

More on ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

‘The Bourne Legacy’

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, Edward Norton, Albert Finney, and Oscar Isaac

The Plot: Matt Damon’s out, Paul Greengrass is gone, but Bourne is returning nonetheless. And although the buzz surrounding this fourth film of the series isn’t nearly as loud as it was prior to the release of each of the previous three films, because it’s a Bourne adventure, there’s an audience eagerly awaiting its release.

Jeremy Renner takes over the lead, playing a character that isn’t Bourne but has Bourne-ish things happen to him.

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